Tuesday, February 01, 2005


I spent this morning squatting in front of the copier trying to extract pieces of a jammed sheet of paper with a pair of tweezers. This is a very delicate procedure that requires the steady hands and focus of a sapper, or at least a proficient Operation player. If the paper breaks off in the gears of the machine the Xerox man must be summoned. He is usually stretched thin and sometimes cannot make a service call until 48 hours later or more. Not having a copy machine in a library is bad any time, but it is disastrous during tax season. Like Anne Frank, I believe that people are basically good at heart and that they will do the right thing as long as it's convenient. If our copy machine is out of order, however, certain people feel justified in ripping pages out of books and magazines, and, during tax season, which we are in the midst of, stealing our master tax forms. Missing tax forms will push our more delicate, less stable patrons over the edge, and if I suggest that they sign up for the library internet and print the forms out from the IRS website they will look at me in puzzled hurt like I've just told them to go fuck themselves.

While I was trying to pull the pieces of paper out, I overheard a conversation between two patrons waiting for the internet that made concentration difficult:

"Here this bitch is, a known murderer and bad check writer, and they're hassling me?"

"That's not right, man."

"And the police are telling me to calm down? I mean, what the FUCK."

"They don't know anything."

"I just want her out of my apartment. We're so fucking through."

"Crazy whore."

My hand then slipped, ripping the paper and making it completely inextricable so I gave up and called the repairman.

Ah, Operation. Now *that* takes me back. It was one of those 'cool' games that 'cool' kids would bring in to school on the last Friday of term (Screwball Scramble was another one), instantly stealing all the other kids away to the corners of the classroom like some kind of battery-operated Pied Piper to take part in morning-long marathons of electronically-enhanced fun, and leaving the crap kids like me alone with their dusty boxes of dominoes/cobwebbed 2000-piece jigsaws like the prehistoric board game lepers we were.

Why are all 'copier guys' really slight, shuffly, squinty, hunched, borderline-mute, balding, coffee-stained, and prone to slightly sinister bouts of surpressed giggling over nothing in particular? Or is that just a curse that's plagued me and me alone?

grey kid
I did that once, I mean tried to extract a piece of paper from a fax machine with a tweezer(it worked).

Enjoyed your post.

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